Workrave: Tiny timer for reminders

Stay on top of your breaks with this handy little desktop timer.

Those of us who sit at a desk all day know the importance of taking regular breaks to stretch muscles and refresh tired eyes. But when you're knee-deep in work, it's easy to forget to take a little time for yourself. Workrave offers users an easy way to set break reminders. Its interface could use a little work in the design department, but it gets the job done.

Workrave really isn't much to look at. A tiny (and we mean tiny) box appeared on our desktop. It had three break options--Micro-break, Rest break, Daily Limit--each represented by a vague icon. To configure each break, you have to right-click on the system-tray icon. From there, the Preferences menu lets you enable/disable each timer, modify the time between breaks, and set the break durations. You also have the option of displaying the Postpone and Skip buttons when the timers go off. There's a User Interface option for choosing sounds, and an always-on-top option that keeps the program on top of whatever you're working on at the moment. We went through and customized each timer to our liking. When the appropriate timer expired, a box flashed around on our screen and a sound let us know that it was time to break. As an extra, Workrave includes a series of exercises that you can scroll through to get the most out of your break time. Workrave doesn't have a help feature, but one isn't really necessary since this program is pretty easy to use.

Workrave installs and uninstalls cleanly. We recommend it for all users.

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